Pimp My Kitchen: Toddy Cold Brew System

by Rachel on July 6, 2010

Good morning! Who’s having coffee?

(I am. As I do every morning. Sorry I’m not sorry!)

I love my daily coffee and am all about bringing more delicious to this morning ritual. A few months ago, I randomly tagged some special “cold brew” coffee maker in Lucky magazine, thinking I might want it to make iced coffee at home come summer. Then in May, Leah introduced me to the most delicious version of an iced coffee ever: the cold toddy.

The cold toddy we had at Espresso Royale in Ann Arbor was just delicious. It was so much better than an iced coffee, for reasons I couldn’t really articulate. It was just better. If I could even come close to that, I’d be happy. So I put two and two together and ordered the Toddy Cold Brew System I had seen in Lucky a few weeks later.

It’s completely different to use than a traditional coffee maker. First, you layer the white part with coffee grounds and water and let it sit overnight…

The first time I did it, it was a little confusing, because they tell you how much coffee to add in half-pound increments, but coffee is not sold in pounds — most bags are 10 ounces. So figuring out six more ounces from the second bag was a little too mathy for me; I made it work but it did require some concentration on my part.

So you let it sit overnight (it makes your house smell great). Then there’s a special filter and stopper in the bottom of the white part; in the morning, you remove the stopper and set it on top of the glass carafe and let the coffee drip into it.

What drips down is actually coffee concentrate, which you then mix with water to make your cup of coffee.

I didn’t realize this but you can actually mix in hot or cold water, so you’re not just limited to iced coffee. And the concentrate can be used in recipes — coffee ice cream anyone?

My biggest challenge with it was finding the right coffee-to-water ratio. My first attempt was a little off because I didn’t account for the fact that I add cream. But once I realized I needed less water because of that, it went way better. It’s not as delicious as the one from Espresso Royale, but it’s definitely better than an iced coffee from Starbucks.

It also comes with a rubber lid for the carafe, so once it’s brewed, you just put the lid on it and it will stay good in the fridge for 14 days. That means no making coffee every day! And between this and my milk vibrator, I really feel like I’m creating way better coffee bevs.

The biggest downside is the price of the coffee. It is technically more expensive than coffee brewed in a regular coffee maker because you have to use more ground coffee to brew it this way. But the company points out that you don’t waste any coffee doing it this way, and that is true. I rarely finish the entire pot when I brew with a traditional coffee maker. In this case, I just use the exact amount I want to drink and have two weeks to finish the entire pot.

Now that I’ve got the hang of it, I’m really into it. I used it to make hot coffee too, although I still need to get the ratio and the temperature down to a science. I also want to try using Dunkin Donuts coffee in it since they allegedly have the best iced coffee.

If you love your daily iced coffee, I definitely think it’s worth it. It’s the best part of waking up (I mean, on days when morning sex isn’t an option)!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anastasia July 6, 2010 at 10:00 am

This is awesome! I never finish a pot of coffee either, so I had been taking the leftover coffee & putting it into ice cube trays to freeze. Then I’d just make hot coffee & put the coffee cubes in to make “iced coffee”. I thought I was so clever, but this is much easier & I’m sure tastier!

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2 Trinidad Pena July 6, 2010 at 11:13 am

I’m such an iced coffee fan! I should try this instead of going to DD. Especially since it’s so inexpensive!

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3 Beth July 6, 2010 at 11:50 am

That is TOO funny, Rach, there’s a new place downtown that serves Illy iced toddy’s and John and I are OBSESSED!

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4 Suzanne July 6, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Dunkin Donuts iced (and hot) coffee is the BEST. I suggest buying it in bulk at Costco if you can!

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5 Katherine July 6, 2010 at 6:20 pm

What a neat invention! I’ve never seen a cold press like that. I think it’d be great to use. I hate that when I go out to get iced coffee, it’s usually just the hot stuff cooled and acid-tasting grossness

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6 Sarah July 6, 2010 at 7:55 pm

You can also make cold brewed coffee in a french press. Use the same ratios and let it sit overnight. Another use for a product you may already have in your kitchen.

Caribou also makes cold pressed coffee using a pitcher and a coffee filter. No special equipment.

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7 sbg July 7, 2010 at 10:35 pm

lmfao…it’s the best part of waking up when morning sex isn’t an option!

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8 Wpeckham September 7, 2010 at 12:56 pm

I really detest cold coffee. I mean REALLY not an iced coffee fan. After reading about cold brewing I waxed creative and built my own brewing system and cold-brewed a batch of cold-brew coffee.
(Being x-military: using the cheapest grounds – white label stuff from the Commessary.)
I take mine black, straight, no sugar, no whitener, no rum, just as it hits the cup.
Nuked it to steaming.

DANG, that is GREAT COFFEE! I drank the whole batch after breakfast.

I had lots of time to re-read the articles and discover that I was supposed to dilute it with boiling water. It must have been 16 hours before enough caffeine worked out of me to allow me to sleep. AND it was so good, I really did not care!

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